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Common questions for Form 1099-Q Education Distribution (ESA & QTPs)

SOLVEDby IntuitLacerte Tax302Updated January 03, 2022

Get answers to frequently asked questions about Education Savings Account and Qualified Tuition Program distributions in Lacerte.

  1. Go to Screen 14.3, Education Distributions (ESAs & QTPs).
  2. Scroll down to the Education Distributions (1099-Q) section.
  3. Check the Spouse box if applicable.
  4. Under Qualified Expenses enter the Higher education (net of nontaxable benefits).
    • Check out this IRS resource to learn what’s considered a qualified education expense.
    • Enter the total expenses for any ESAs and QTPs in the applicable fields for the taxpayer or spouse.
  5. Enter the Elementary and secondary education (net of nontaxable benefits).
  6. Under Form 1099-Q enter the amounts for boxes 1–5 in the applicable fields.
    • The earnings portion of the distribution for taxable QTP rollovers are included in income on the tax return and subjected to the 10% penalty in Part II of Form 5329. 
    • Refer to Pub 970 for information regarding the taxability and nontaxability of ESA and QTP rollovers.
  7. Click Add from the left navigation panel to add more 1099-Q distributions.

If the distribution becomes nontaxable, there is a strong likelihood that the client will receive a notice indicating amounts as taxable. This is because the IRS was notified of the distribution but doesn’t have any knowledge about what the distribution was used for or how much was used.

  1. Go to Screen 47, Notes.
  2. Select Statement from the left navigation panel.
  3. Enter the information regarding the 1099-Q distribution and expenses incurred.
    • Once the statement has clearly indicated that the distribution was completely used up, it'll indicate to the IRS just what occurred with the distribution.

Lacerte Tax does not have specific input for Trustee-to-Trustee Transfer Checkbox (6) and Designated Beneficiary Checkbox (6). Refer to the Form 1099-Q instructions for how to treat these items.

  1. Go to Screen 38.1, Education Credits/Tuition Deduction.
  2. Scroll down to the Current Year Expenses subsection.
  3. Check that the expenses entered aren't the same as the expenses entered on Screen 14.3, Education Distributions.
    • Only education expenses that remain after being used against the distribution can be claimed as education expenses for Form 8863.
    • Inaccurate reports may prompt an IRS notice.
  1. Go to Screen 14.3, Education Distributions.
  2. Enter the Name of payer.
    • Check the Spouse box if applicable.
    • Complete the Dependent Beneficiary subsection only if this 1099-Q belongs to a dependent entered on screen 2. For all other 1099-Qs, leave the First name, Last name, and Social security number fields here blank.
  3. Scroll down to the Qualified Expenses subsection and enter any education expenses that may offset the distribution amount.
  4. Enter the amounts from boxes 1-5 in the applicable fields.
    • If the distribution wasn't used to pay for qualified education expenses, leave Rollover: 1 = nontaxable, 2 = taxable (4) (code 304) blank.

Lacerte will generate a QTP Distribution Worksheet calculating the taxable amount of the distribution, if any. The taxable portion is reported on Form 1040 as Other Income, and amounts subject to additional tax will flow to Form 5329.

If the QTP Distribution Worksheet is not generated, and the taxable amount of distribution is not being calculated, verify that the Social security number field on screen 14.3 was not completed by mistake.

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